Chester’s doodle flew across social media and was shared on Instagram by people who have huge followings.
When a freelance artist and part-time art teacher from Georgia, US, was offered a job from Google after his doodle on Juneteenth went viral.
According to The Washington Post, Davian Chester, 26, went to Google’s homepage on June 19 and was surprised to see there was no doodle honouring Juneteenth, recognised as celebration of the end of slavery in the United States. So, the young artist decided to make one and post it on Facebook, not expecting to go viral or end up on a celebratory billboard and get a call from Google.
“I thought I could come up with something real quick,” he said as he drew handcuffed wrists of a black person breaking out of chains – with the chains being the word Google.
He posted on Facebook and wrote: “So I noticed that Google didn’t make a doodle for Juneteenth. I decided to help out! lol.” As usual his friends and acquaintances shared his post, but soon his post hit a wider circle and people started tagging Google, saying, “Why didn’t you do anything for Juneteenth?”
Chester’s doodle flew across social media and was shared on Instagram by people who have huge followings, including D.L. Hughley and “Blackish” actor Anthony Anderson. “It blew up and took off. It was crazy,” said Chester, who lives in Columbus near the Alabama border. Three days later, Chester received an email from Google asking if he was interested in working for Google as an artist. Soon, a Google calendar invite for a phone call was scheduled.
“They called me and told me how much they liked my work. They said they’d already seen my work on social media before the doodle,” Chester was quoted as saying. Meanwhile, the young artist has been flooded with requests from local companies and also a job from Proctor and Gamble.
However, Chester said that he loved the spotlight it brought to Juneteenth, a celebration of the day in 1865 that slavery ended in Texas and, thus, across the country. “It made me happy it went viral and brought more awareness to Juneteenth. It was exciting because this is most traction my work had ever gotten,” Chester added.
The arts community in Columbus got together and raised $1,200 to put up a billboard featuring Chester’s now-famous doodle, coupled with a drawing of Chester and these words: “Juneteenth. Recognize it. Celebrate it. Google it. Congrats on your doodle, Davian!” The billboard was put up July 1 near downtown Columbus and will stay up for 30 days.
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